Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta U-21 coach Silvio Vella relishing Swiss test
Mar 22, 2018
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General
U21 - Friendlies

The Malta U-21 squad are finalising their preparations for their friendly match against Switzerland Under-20 on Friday at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off 13.00).
 


The match is against the Swiss is intended to aid Malta’s build-up for their tough UEFA Championship qualifier against Turkey in Alanya this coming Tuesday.

 

Silvio Vella, the Malta Under-21 coach, is relishing the test against Switzerland.

 

“In the current U-21 squad, we have a mixture of experience and youth,” Vella told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

“It’s my intention to give every player the chance to play against Switzerland on Friday as we can make unlimited substitutions. This also means that all the players must be ready for this opportunity.”

 

The Malta U-21s are still looking for their first point in Group 6 of the UEFA Championship despite some positive performances.

 

In the previous competition, the Malta Under-21 side obtained 11 points, the best tally ever by a Maltese selection, but this qualifying campaign is proving more difficult, also due to the quality of the other teams in the group.

 

“This is a different competition,” Vella said.

 

“I’m not the type who looks for excuses but we are competing in a very difficult group with the likes of Sweden, Belgium, Hungary and Turkey. All these teams have high-quality players who play in top European leagues week in week out.”

 

Vella said he was proud to be coaching this Under-21 squad but lamented their lack of playing time at club level, adding that the amount of foreign players in the local leagues is making it difficult for local youngsters to break into the first team.

 

Meanwhile, the team’s preparations continued on Wednesday with another intense training session.

 

The final training session before Friday’s match take places this afternoon (Thursday) at 4pm.

 

“It’s important to keep our focus all the time as we will be facing top players who have all the right attributes… box-to-box, composed on the ball and who find the back of the net very easily,” Vella added.

 

“We need to play to the maximum of our abilities, with a strong team spirit and work ethic.”

 

Vella has no injury worries ahead of Switzerland U-20 friendly. The Malta Under-21 coach will finalise his 18-man squad selection for the Turkey trip after the match.

 

MALTA U-21 SQUAD

 

Goalkeepers
Jake Galea (Ħamrun Spartans FC), Andreas Vella (Mosta FC).

 

Defenders
Jean Borg (Valletta FC), Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers), Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans FC), Dunstan Vella (Hibernians FC), Kurt Zammit (Birkirkara FC), Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians FC), Michele Sansone (Sliema Wanderers FC).

 

Midfielders
Conor Borg (AS Roma, Italy), Dexter Xuereb (Mosta FC), Nikolai Muscat (Gżira United FC), Jake Grech (Birkirkara FC), Dylan Agius (Pieta’ Hotspurs FC), Zachary Scerri (Gżira United FC), Juan Corbalan (Gżira United FC).

 

Forwards
Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians FC), Joseph Mbong (Hibernians FC), Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta FC), Andrea Borg (Peterborough United FC, England).
 

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